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With a name inspired by a Haitian witchdoctor, Ajimal is the solo project of Newcastle’s Fran O’Hanlon – a collaborative ‘in-ear experiment’ with the aim of writing about the interplay between ideas from music, medicine, art, ideas, literature, science and stories.
Jumping between serene piano, delicate acoustic, reverb guitars, loop pedals, singing bowls and saws, with the one constant of expressive and beautiful vocal melodies and lyrics, Ajimal specialises in grandiose haunted pop, reminiscent of Jeff Buckley and Guillemots.
Ajimal has received multiple plays on Tom Robinson’s BBC6 Music Introducing show, as well as plays on BBC Introducing Scotland, XFM and a stunning session for Amazing Radio and was recently tipped for 2012 by M Magazine (PRS). Fran recorded Wolf at London venue The Roundhouse, in London, and performed at the venue as part of ‘Roundhouse Rising’. The track was Gill Mills’ ‘Best of Myspace’ and went on to be selected for the Sound + Vision project (with Domino Records).
Footnote to Love [Part One], out on 19 March is the first release from Ajimal’s upcoming concept EP, entitled Childhood, which is produced by Mick Ross (Frankie & the Heartstrings, Soundtracks for a B-Movie, Let’s Buy Happiness) and features guests including Mick Ross, Little Comets’ Rob Coles and fellow North East singer-songwriter The Lake Poets. www.ajimal.co.uk
Auction for the Promise Club is a band from the fishing village of St Agnes, Cornwall. The band comprises of Zoe White Chambers (singer/guitarist/writer), her brother; Toby White Chambers (drums) and friend Perran Tremewan (guitars/keys).
By luck and friendship the band has recorded at Abbey Road Studios and been listed in a Marie Claire UK Playlist alongside Florence and the Machine and I Blame Coco. Introduced on BBC 6 Music by Tom Robinson, on XFM by John Kennedy and on Absolute Radio by Sarah Champion as well as regional BBC Radio Shows across the country, the female-fronted rock band have garnered critical acclaim for their unique sound, which channels shoegaze through giant hooks and huge choruses.
2010/2011 saw Auction for the Promise Club play support slots with Paolo Nutini, Martha Wainright and Pendulum at the Eden Sessions and also Reverend and The Makers. The band has racked up performances at some of the country's most renowned venues, including Liverpool's Cavern Club, The Factory/Fac251 in Manchester, Birmingham's Gatecrasher and the ICA in London, as well as headlining a closing show at London Fashion Week.
The band have recently released videos for the tracks Under China and If from their debut One EP that was recorded at Abbey Road Studios and Cube Recordings. Two more videos are in production to tie in with the digital release of One EP on 24 February 2012 with a show at 100 Club, London and other gigs around the country. www.auctionforthepromiseclub.co.uk
Musically, I Dream In Colour are inspired by the intricate rhythms of Led Zeppelin, the energy of Talking Heads, and the song writing skills of Radiohead. And it seems that it isn’t just musically that they take inspiration from their peers as Richard (vocals/guitar) explains 'I always knew Radiohead got their name from a Talking Heads song. When I was looking for a name for our band I took their advice and looked to a hero. I picked up the Beatles anthology and turned straight to the page of John Lennon. The first line I read was "When I dream, I dream in colour…" And that was that.' I Dream In Colour have earned a fierce following back in Essex, where they have spent the last year writing, gigging and spreading their word. This has not gone unnoticed elsewhere: with press, blogs, radio and top producers all singing their praises.
Debut single Strangest Place was released at the tail-end of 2011 saw the classic song-writing structures and heartfelt lyrics draw comparisons to the likes of Coldplay and The Verve. www.idreamincolourband.com
Formed last year, the Zulu Winter line up of Will Daunt (vocals & guitar), Iain Lock (bass), Dom Millard (keyboards), Henry Walton (guitar) and Guy Henderson (drums) have only played a handful of UK shows, but have already been tipped by NME, The Fly and Q Magazine, picked up support from International music blog Altered Zones and have had widespread radio play from the likes of Steve Lamacq, Huw Stephens and XFM. They will play at this year’s South By South West in Austin TX, USA where the band has recently inked a deal with the Arts & Crafts label, home to Feist, Broken Social Scene & Phoenix amongst others. They then head to New York for their debut shows in the city with Bon Iver side project Polica at Mercury Lounge and at Brooklyn’s Glasslands with XL’s new signing Willis Earl Beal, before heading to Australia for dates in Melbourne and Sydney.
Zulu Winter are set to release their eagerly awaited debut album on Play It Again Sam Recordings on the 14 of May 2012. Language, released on CD, vinyl and available to download, was produced by Tom Morris at 4AD’s studio in Wandsworth and Miloco Pool Studio, South London and mixed by Claudius Mittendorfer (Interpol, The Vaccines, Glasvegas) in New York.
The album features eleven tracks including the forthcoming single Silver Tongue, the band’s Pitchfork endorsed limited edition, sold out double A side release Let’s Move Back To Front/Never Leave and the recent We Should Be Swimming with over 150,000 plays on you tube and the 'Hottest Record in the World' accolade from Radio 1’s Zane Lowe. www.zuluwinter.blogspot.com